Football Prepares For New England Rival, Connecticut
Oct. 2, 2000
Date: Saturday, October 7, 2000
Time: 12:00 p.m. EDT
Site (Capacity): Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass. (44,500)
Television: Televised locally on the New England Sports Network (Bob Picozzi, play-by-play).
Radio: Boston College Football Radio Network (John Rooke, play-by- play, Peter Cronan, color) -- local coverage in Boston on WEEI-850 AM and internet broadcast on www.bceagles.com, Boston College student radio station WZBC-90.3 FM also provides coverage
THE GAME: After not playing a team from the six-state New England region since 1986, the Boston College football team meets a New England opponent for the second-straight year as it plays host to Connecticut this Saturday. The Eagles defeated Boston-based Northeastern last year by a 33-22 score after not facing a New England opponent since the 1986 Holy Cross series finale. The Eagles enter the game with a 2-2 record and a 0-2 BIG EAST mark with wins over Army (55-17) and Navy (48-7) and losses to West Virginia (34-14) and Virginia Tech (48-34). Connecticut is in its first year as a Division I-A independent school and is scheduled to become a full member of the BIG EAST Football Conference in 2005. The Huskies bring a 2-3 record into this contest and are coming off consecutive losses to Northeastern (35-27) and Louisville (41-22). For the Eagles, senior quarterback Tim Hasselbeck (Norfolk, Mass.) is one of three captains for Boston College this year and is 58 of 101 in the air this year for 808 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions. Two weeks ago against Navy, Hasselbeck threw for a career-high 355 yards on a 20-for-28 effort with two TD passes. Senior tailback Cedric Washington (Holyoke, Mass.) is the leading rusher with 62 carries for 301 yards and three touchdowns and has rushed for 100 yards or more in seven career games, including two of the last three. Sophomore running back William Green (Atlantic City, N.J.) is the second-leading rusher with 292 yards on 64 carries with six touchdowns. Green had a career-high 117 yards vs. Virginia Tech last Saturday and also scored a pair of tochdowns. Junior wide receiver Dedrick Dewalt (Chicago, Ill.) has 14 receptions for 276 yards and four touchdowns -- two each vs. Army and Navy.
HEAD COACH TOM O'BRIEN: Boston College head coach Tom O'Brien (Navy '71) enters his fourth season in charge of the Eagle program and has an overall record of 18-20 at the school. Last year, Boston College posted an 8-4 mark and played in the Insight.com bowl - the first postseason appearance for the Eagles since the 1994 season.
The Eagles were the third-most improved team in NCAA Division I-A football last season.
O'Brien came to Boston College after spending 15 years as an assistant coach at Virginia - the final six as offensive coordinator.
THE SERIES: The game will mark the ninth meeting between the two schools, but the first since the 1928 season. Boston College holds a 6-0-2 series edge and Connecticut failed to score in six of the eight contests between the schools.
Although the two schools have not met frequently on the gridiron, the meet in a number of ahletic events each year as both schools were charter members of the BIG EAST Conference in 1980.
AGAINST NEW ENGLAND: In the very early years of the Boston College program, it was a familiar site to see the Eagles play teams from the six-state New England region. In recent years, New England schools have not appeared on the Eagle schedule. When Boston College defeated Northeastern by a 33-22 score last year, it marked the first time since 1986 (the final game in the Holy Cross series) that Boston College had met a team from New England.
The Eagles currently have a 15-game winning streak against teams from New England with eight wins vs. Holy Cross, four vs. Massachusetts, one vs. Northeastern and two against Yale. The last time Boston College lost to a New England school was in 1978 -- a 30-29 defeat to Holy Cross. The previous week, Massachusetts had beaten BC by a 27-0 score.
Eagle assistant coach Bill McGovern played at Holy Cross from 1981-85 and went 3-1 vs. the Huskies in his collegiate career. He also coached against the Huskies as an assistant at Massachusetts from 1992-93 and 1987-90.
Eagle assistant Bob Shoop played at Yale from 1984-87 and went 1-2 in his collegiate career vs. the Huskies. He also coached against UConn as an assistant at Villanova, Yale and Northeastern.
Eagle assistant Jason Swepson was an assistant at Northeastern from 1997-98, Boston University from 1994-95 and Rhode Island in 1993 and faced the Huskies.
Assistant athletic director for football operations Barry Gallup was the head coach at Northeastern from 1991-98 and had a 2-4 record vs. Connecticut. UConn head coach Randy Edsall was the defensive backs coach at Boston College from 1991-93.
RECAPPING ARMY AND NAVY
EXPERIENCED ON "O", YOUNG ON "D": The Eagle offensive starting unit against West Virginia in the season-opener was an experienced one as it consisted of seven seniors, two juniors and two sophomores. These 11 players combined for 65 starting nods during the 1999 regular season among five players, including four who started all 11 games -- senior tackle Michael Cook (Walpole, Mass), senior guard Paul LaQuerre (West Barnstable, Mass.), senior offensive guard Paul Zukauskas (Weymouth, Mass) and Washington.
Conversely on defense, the Eagles had just three senior starters on defense, along with four juniors, three sophomores and a redshirt freshman. The defense had 42 starts from last year returning with three 11-game starters -- junior linebacker Scott Bradley (Hanover, Mass.), senior free safety RaMon Johnson (Warrensville Heights, Ohio) and junior cornerback Jonathan Ordway (Seffner, Fla.).
With the injuries that have hit the Boston College defense, the lineup has become even younger. Last Saturday vs. fourth-ranked Virginia Tech, the Eagle started two seniors, two juniors, three sophomore and four redshirt freshmen.
EAGLES AND BIG EAST LEADERS Here's where the Boston College team and individual players stand in BIG EAST statistics this week:
EAGLES AND NATIONAL LEADERS Here's where the Boston College team and individual players stand in the NCAA statistics this week:
CAPTAINS ANNOUNCED: The Boston College football team elected Hasselbeck, senior free safety Ramon Johnson (Warrensville Heights, Ohio) and senior offensive lineman Paul Zukauskas (Weymouth, Mass.) as team captains for the 2000 season.
Hasselbeck completed 145 of 160 pass attempts last season for 1,940 yards and 11 touchdowns. Johnson played in all 12 games last season, starting 11 of them, and made 59 tackles -- 41 unassisted -- with three sacks. Zukauskas has started every game for Boston College over the past two seasons.
GREEN HAS CAREER DAY: Boston College sophomore running back William Green (Atlantic City, N.J.) enjoyed the first 100-yard rushing performance of his collegiate career last Saturday against Virginia Tech. Green carried the ball 25 times for 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Hokies. Green saw extra playing time against Virginia Tech because of a knee injury to Cedric Washington, which saw the senior miss the entire second half. Green's previous career high was 77 yards last year in his collegiate debut vs. Baylor. Green has scored two rushing touchdowns in each of Boston College's last two games and has scored at least one rushing touchdown in every game this year.
BURKE CATCHES ON: Eagle sophomore wide receiver Jamal Burke (Brockton, Mass.) caught a pair of touchdown passes vs. Virginia Tech last Saturday on catches of six and 17 yards. The scores marked his first ones of the season and his second career two-TD receiving game (in addition to last year vs. Notre Dame). Burke now has four career touchdowns, all of which have come in those Virginia Tech and Notre Dame contests.
GOODWIN SEES PLAYING TIME: Boston College freshman defensive tackle Doug Goodwin (Freeport, N.Y.) has seen a great deal of playing time early in his career and is eighth on the Eagle team with 16 tackles and also has four tackles for a loss and two quarterback sacks. He started the Army game for the Eagles, becoming the first freshman to start on defense for BC since Trevor White last year at strong safety in 11 games.
WASHINGTON ON WALKER WATCH LIST: Washington is one of 35 candidates for the 2000 Doak Walker Award presented by Vectrix. The award is given annually to the nation's top college running back by the Southwestern Bell-SMU Athletic Forum in Dallas.
Washington was a first team all-BIG EAST selection last year as he rushed for 1,122 yards on 222 carries for seven touchdowns. He became just the 13th player in Boston College history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
The Southwestern Bell Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select eight semifinalists on November 8, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will vote on the winner in late November. The National Selection Committee consists of former all-pro and All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.
The winner will be announced live on ESPN's College Football Awards Show Thursday, Dec. 7. The presentation banquet will be January 31, 2001, at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas.
Last season, former Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne won the award after becoming the NCAA's career rushing leader with 6,397 yards.
Washington joins an impressive list of candidates from around the country including Maryland senior LaMont Jones, the nation's leading returning rusher with 3,227 career yards, TCU senior LaDainian Tomlinson, who was tops among Division I-A runners in 1999 with 1,850 yards and Texas senior Hodges Mitchell, a 1999 Doak Walker Award finalist.
Other candidates from schools on the 2000 BC schedule are: Tony Fisher of Notre Dame and James Jackson of Miami.
McMYLER ON GUY WATCH LIST: Boston College sophomore punter Kevin McMyler (Dallas, Texas) is one of 32 punters on the first Ray Guy Award watch list as announced last Tuesday by the Greater Augusta Sports Council. Last season as a freshman, McMyler averaged 37.2 yards per punt, including a career-long 61-yard punt in his collegiate debut against Baylor.
The Ray Guy Award will be awarded to the Nation's best punter as determined by a committee made up of sports writers, college football coaches, former punters and members designated by the Greater Augusta Sports Council. The winner will display leadership, self-discipline, and have a significant positive impact on the team's success.
The National Selection Committee will choose the 10 semifinalists who will be announced by November 8, 2000. That same national body will then vote for the three finalists who will be announced November 30, 2000.
The award is named after the greatest punter of all time, Ray Guy who attended Southern Mississippi and then was drafted in the first round by the Oakland Raiders. Guy was an integral part of the Raider's successful years between 1973-1986.
The Greater Augusta Sports Council will present the Ray Guy Award in December at a combined awards dinner with the Greater Augusta Medal For Excellence in Sports Awards for high school students in the Augusta metro area.
BOSTON COLLEGE IN THE POLLS: Boston College was in the "also receiving votes" category in the 2000 preseason Associated Press poll with three points, which was released on Aug. 5. 2000. Eagle opponents in the poll were Virginia Tech (No. 11), Syracuse (also receiving votes) and Notre Dame (also receiving votes).
In the preseason USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, which was released on August 10, Boston College also received three votes. Virginia Tech was ranked 10th while Syracuse and Notre Dame also received votes.
Boston College also received votes in the first weekly edition of both polls, which were released on Aug. 29.
EAGLES TABBED FOURTH IN BIG EAST: Boston College was picked fourth in the official BIG EAST Conference preseason poll - a selection voted upon by media representatives who cover the league on a regular basis. Boston College finished fourth with 109 points while Miami was first (183 points with 15 first place votes) followed by Virginia Tech (177 points with nine first place votes) Syracuse (134 points). Following the Eagles were Pittsburgh (100 points), West Virginia (85 points), Temple (48 points) and Rutgers (28 points).
ALL 11 GAMES ON TELEVISION: Boston College will be one of the most televised teams in the country this season as all 11 games will be available on television. Here's an updated look at the 2000 Eagle schedule with television plans. Note that two game times are not set definitely and will depend on the television origination.
EAGLES HAVE NEW LOGOS: The new millennium has brought a new look at Boston College athletics. A new series of Boston College logos were unveiled at a media and corporate partner event on July 26 and was the conclusion of a 24-month process. A study and a logo redesign for the athletic department will broaden the base of athletics-related design concepts and bring all Boston College athletic teams under the umbrella of one branded look and feel. A color match for maroon and gold has been carefully researched and gives BC teams the opportunity to put a consistent look on its 34 varsity sports.
FIVE EAGLES NAMED TO BIG EAST ANNIVERSARY TEAM: Five former Boston College football players were named to the BIG EAST Conference 10th Anniversary team. Named to the squad from Boston College were offensive lineman Doug Brzezinski (1995-98), offensive lineman Pete Kendall (1992-95), tight end Pete Mitchell (1991-94), defensive lineman Chris Hovan (1996-99) and defensive lineman Mike Mamula (1993-94).
The five selections from Boston College were tied for second among league schools behind Miami with seven. West Virginia and Syracuse also had five each while Virginia Tech had four and Pittsburgh three.
Brzezinski was an anchor on the Boston College offensive line for four seasons as he started 46-straight games in his career. He earned first team all-BIG EAST in both his senior and junior years. He was a first team all-East pick after his senior year.
Kendall was a four-year starter for the Eagles on the offensive line and earned all-BIG EAST honors twice on the first team - in 1994 as a tackle and in 1995 as a guard. He was a two-time all-East pick.
Hovan was named first team all-BIG EAST for three consecutive years at Boston College and was a first team All-America pick in 1999 by the American Football Coaches Association and second team by the Football Writers Association of America. He made a total of 245 tackles in his career and registered 20.5 sacks.
Mitchell earned all-BIG EAST first team honors as a tight end in his junior and senior seasons. He led Boston College in receptions for three seasons with 40 in 1992, 66 in 1993 and 55 in 1994. He was a consensus first team All-America pick in 1994.
Mamula registered 13 sacks for Boston College in his final year of 1994 and was fourth on the team in tackles with 73. He was a first team all-BIG EAST pick in 1994.
BOSTON COLLEGE ON THE WEB: For information on all 34 of Boston College's athletic teams, please go to the internet at www.bceagles.com. This site underwent a redesign this past summer in conjunction with the logo redesign.